“Ancient Chinese Secret”
While that title might bring memories of a laundromat to some “of a certain age”, this article has nothing to do with a humorous, though politically incorrect television commercial. It will, however, bring you a centuries old technique for a delicious quasi-healthy beverage that you can make for pennies and tailor to your own personal tastes. You ready?

While according to WebMD the jury is still out on the positive claims of Kombucha, I had to try the simple fermentation method. I mean, Kombucha seems to be EVERYWHERE right now Never one to do anything half-way, I now have a new dedicated gallon glass jar, six pint sized “easy cap” glass bottles, and the all important scoby. After the nominal setup expense, I can and have made an entire gallon for what one 16oz bottle cost at my local health food store! Keep reading...

Meet my new “pet”. A scoby is a kind of gross looking amalgamation of yeast and healthy bacteria. It feeds off of sugar and fresh air. If you're doing it right, with each new batch you will generate a new scoby! I now have my third gallon of Kombucha aging, and actually that is the second generation – here's one of the first mom and baby scoby.

First things first – cleanliness is of utmost importance! You are INTENTIONALLY growing bacteria – you do NOT want any BAD bacteria to take up residence!!! If you've ever made homemade wine or beer you understand this point – so don't skimp on that boiling water! When you're satisfied that your master container (the gallon jar) is sterile, cover it while you brew a gallon of tea (I use 4 bags each black and green tea and distilled water) and add a cup of sugar. Cover and let cool to room temp. Transfer to your jar, gently add the scoby and some plain kombucha from a previous batch, cover with a finely woven cloth held in place by a rubber band... and wait.

It's still mostly in the 50's here, so I've been letting my potion go two weeks for this first step - it will go faster in warmer weather. Try not to peek too often, but if you do, you'll start to see the growth of the new “baby” while the liquid actually gets somewhat lighter in color. Ideally you'll catch a whiff of vinegar as you walk by, and that's ok – in fact, that's great. NOW comes the fun part!

My first gallon I wasn't sure what flavor I would get or more importantly, what I would LIKE the best – so I kept some plain, and tried three variations I'd found online: strawberry mojito, turmeric/ginger/lemon grass, and apple cinnamon. I added the “extras” to each bottle, filled them from my master, sealed, and stored in a dark place for a few more days.

All of them were pleasant – the turmeric had an almost smoky flavor to it; the apple tasted just as expected, with a slight tingle to it reminiscent of cider about to turn(?), plain is going to be delightful on a nice hot day – but I gotta say – the Strawberry Mojito blew me away!

I've rambled enough about my new “pet” for today – I'll be posting some more details and combinations soon, but for now,


Posted by Linda :
Thursday 05 May 2016 - 14:36:40
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